The suspension of Chinese-funded projects is the country has resulted in Sri Lanka being on the losing side, including in terms of livelihood for Sri Lankans, a spokesman for China Chamber of Commerce said yesterday.
“Chinese-funded projects created 100,000 job opportunities in Sri Lanka in the past five years; 90% of workers in Chinese-funded projects are Sri Lankans,” said Chen Chuan, Spokesman for China Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka.
Chen mentioned that for example, A9 road construction in the north hired 4,500 Sri Lankan staff including 2,800 Tamils; with only around 50 Chinese technicians working on the project, accounting for a mere 1.5-2% of the total.
Chinese-funded projects created at least 100,000 direct job opportunities for Sri Lankan people in the past five years and trained many Sri Lankan young people to master new technologies which not only benefit them but benefited Sri Lanka’s future development, he said.
“One Minister levelled allegations that only Chinese workers lost jobs at Chinese-funded projects, which is totally wrong. We suggest politicians check facts and figures before making remarks and that they stop misleading the people,” Chen added.
He also said China is the only country which created the most number of jobs for Sri Lankan youth post-war. Furthermore, China is growing to become a leading source market for Sri Lanka tourism creating or sustaining jobs in hotels, tea, gem, transportation and other related business.
Tourist arrivals from China last year rose by 136% to 128,166 displacing Germany as the third largest source market. Arrivals from China in the first five months of this year are up 80% to 79,000 overtaking figure from previously number two source market UK which was 64,000.